February 8, 2021
To help you navigate these uncertain times, we’ve compiled timely news and resources related to small business, education and connectivity. We hope this provides both information and comfort as we continue to weather these challenges.
T.D. Jakes Foundation in Action
Last month Bishop T.D. Jakes, Chairman of the T.D. Jakes Foundation, brought together several of the world’s leading coronavirus experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease official, for a panel discussion—”Conversations with America: Understanding the COVID-19 Vaccine.” Visit Bloomberg Radio to hear more on the panel and ways to build COVID-19 vaccine trust with BIPOC communities.
In honor of Black History Month, Fox News took the time to honor author, bishop, filmmaker, and Chairman T.D. Jakes, and all his global ventures. See the full profile here.
Today, in the United States, there are approximately 2.6 million Black-owned businesses—a number has risen by more than 30 percent in the past decade. Click here to visit the T.D. Jakes Foundation’s helpful resource guide to help those looking for ways to support Black-owned businesses.
Black History Month
CNBC Make It is using Black History to shine a special spotlight on 23 Black leaders whose recent accomplishments and impact will inspire many generations to come, including T.D. Jakes Foundation Board Member Cynt Marshall, Kamala Harris, Amanda Gorman, Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett and many more. See the full list here.
February marks the start of Black History Month, a federally recognized celebration of the contributions African Americans have made to this country and a time to reflect on the continued struggle for racial justice. Visit USA Today for everything you need to know about Black History Month and how to celebrate appropriately.
In observance of Black History Month, WFAA is doing a series of reports in February on the financial disparities among races and genders. According to the analysis, Black women are paid the least of any group. Estimates vary, but in general, for every dollar made by a white man, a Black woman with similar education earns between 60 and 67 cents. Visit WFAA for more on the reports.
Super Bowl LV
Sarah Thomas made history Sunday as the first woman to referee a Super Bowl. Part of a seven-person crew officiating at Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay, Thomas has long been a trailblazer in the sports world after becoming the first-ever female referee at an NFL playoff game two years ago, the first full-time female referee in the NFL, and the first woman to work a major college football game. Find out more on Thomas’ accomplishments via CBS News.
Amanda Gorman, the nation’s youngest-ever inaugural poet, kicked off the Super Bowl with an evocative poem that honored several heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 22-year-old poet read her poem about the impact of educator Trimaine Davis, nurse Suzie Dorner and Marine veteran James Martin, who were selected by the NFL as honorary captains for this year’s game for embodying the NFL’s message for this football season: “It Takes All of Us.” Read more via HuffPost.
COVID-19 Pandemic & Long-Term Effects
In an interview that aired prior to the Super Bowl on Sunday evening, President Joe Biden stated that the exodus of millions of women from the labor force and the closing of schools —along with the mental health issues for children that could arise — during the COVID-19 pandemic constitute a “national emergency. Roughly 20 million schoolchildren have been out of the classroom for almost a year, and a recent CBS News report showed that nearly 3 million women have dropped out of the labor force since last year. Find out how the Biden administration plans to address these pressing issues via CBS News.
U.S. employers resumed hiring in January and the U.S. economy added 49,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 6.3% in January, from 6.7% a month earlier, in part reflecting fewer people searching for jobs. The weak pace of job gains suggested a long road remains for the recovery. Read more on the developments via Wall Street Journal.
Many U.S. small businesses took a hit in revenue last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, with many minority-owned businesses struggling to access credit, according to a Federal Reserve survey released on Wednesday. Some 54% of white-owned firms described their financial condition as “fair” or “poor.” But that share rose to 79% for Asian-owned businesses, 77% for Black-owned firms and to 66% for Hispanic-owned businesses. Read more on the report via the New York Post.
Black and Asian female unemployment rose in January, while Latina unemployment continues to be among the highest in the country, according to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. Unemployment continues to be highest for women of color, while it drops for white women. Read more on the reporter via 19th News.
Nearly 700 cases of Covid-19 variants first spotted in the UK, South Africa and Brazil have been reported in the U.S. so far, according to data updated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts warn now is not the time for Americans to let their guard down. Find out more about how the variants complicate vaccine efforts via CNN.
The Dallas Independent School District is moving forward with plans for student and family resource centers, with the goal of correcting decades-long inequities. According to a report by the district, the consensus is that poverty in all its guises is detrimental to student achievement, and the resource centers are one means of attacking these problems at their root. Read more on the developments via Dallas ISD.
When the pandemic shut down schools in March, it created a new urgency to narrow the digital gap in the U.S. and showed that the divide doesn’t just exist between rural and urban communities, but also within America’s largest cities. For example, some 500,000 households lack reliable connection in New York City. Distance learning has prompted local governments to take more aggressive action on digital access. But moving forward, the federal government must be involved in expanding connectivity solutions. Read more on potential policy changes via Bloomberg.
Together, we can and will get through this.
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